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Body Object

Mixed media - metal hospital bed, light box, fabric, plaster, X-ray film, Lambda digital print originally shot on B/W Fuji Neopan film.

Steps Gallery, Melbourne, Australia 1998
Summer Salon Exhibition, Centre for Contemporary Photography, Melbourne, Australia 2000


All works copyright the Artist 1998


Body Object

This exhibition was a collaboration between 6 visual artists and 6 people with workplace injuries, during Occupational Health and Safety Week in 1998.

Kleemann was paired up with a nurse who had been exposed over a long period to the hazardous chemical Gluteraldehyde, used to develop X-ray films.

Her aesthetic approach has been from the point of opposites – dream career/health nightmare; germkiller/lifesaver; cleanser/poisoner; visible/invisible injury; inner/outer body state; active/passive lifestyle; sensitive/insensitive reaction and attitude in the workplace; positive/negative image in society as well as photography.

The nurse/care-giver is presented as the patient, rendered supine, exhausted, a shadow of her former self. The hands represent the caring, healing profession. They are also the parts of the body in immediate physical contact with, and at highest risk of contamination/absorption by these hidden pervaders.

The patient is flat and two-dimensional, her colour drained, her body illuminated – shedding light on the subject... seeing the light...
the light at the end of the (in)adequately ventilated tunnel... and as the saying goes, where there is light, there is hope for the future...